Over the years it has been shown that an increasing number of environmental objectives such as Sweden have set up is very difficult or impossible to reach. Several of the 16 national environmental objectives have proved to be difficult or even impossible to reach. The Swedish Government now wants to reduce its environmental goals and lower the requirements for how to achieve an environmental objective, writes Swedish Radio Ekot.
The new wording about environmental objectives will be presented in the environmental bill, which the government is likely to decide next week. SR Ekot has read the Government's proposals and no new funding will be invested to achieve the environmental objectives. Environmental objectives was established in 1999 and include, for example on climate, air quality, ocean and forest. According to the Environmental Council's latest assessment 9 of 16 goals are impossible to achieve. With the government's new criteria only four goals will be impossible to achieve.
In a report from september 2009 (SOU 2009:83) the Swedish government writes there is also criticism of the system, however. It has been suggested that in some respects its purpose is unclear, that it has become increasingly complex over time, and that political guidance of the system could have been clearer. For several of the objectives, the level of ambition is unrealistically high. The cross-cutting issues related to the objectives should be dropped as a concept and as a level of goals. Clear milestone targets should be developed for the changes in society that are required. Most of the roughly 70 interim targets currently in place can be turned into milestone targets of this kind. The report also claims that environmental quality objectives need to be seen in a more international context, and Sweden’s international dependence in this area should be more carefully analysed in the in-depth evaluation.
The report writes Swedish Environmental Protection Agency should be given a coordinating responsibility for follow-up of the environmental objectives. The Inquiry proposes the establishment of a special Commission made up of representatives of the Riksdag parties, with the task of advising the Government on how the environmental quality objectives can be achieved.